Art group teamLab’s NFT project explores nature of blockchain

Japan-based interdisciplinary art group teamLab will exhibit its first NFT work “Matter is Void – Water,” a project which they say aims to explore the ideas of authorship and ownership on blockchain.

The project, to be released on Pace Verso’s platform on October 19, comprises seven unique NFTs bearing the words “Matter is Void,” a reference to the Japanese-Buddhist expression Shikisoku Zekuu, which meditates on the meanings of emptiness.

To explore ideas of authorship and ownership, teamLab said they had adopted a radical format that enables the NFT purchasers to change the words displayed in the work via a website that teamLab has created. Once the NFTs’ content has been altered by their purchasers, the artworks will never again display their original “Matter is Void” state.

While only seven Matter is Void NFTs will be available for purchase, ownership of the artwork is not exclusive to NFT purchasers. The artwork will be available for individuals around the world to download, own, and display at any time, teamLab said.

All those downloaded works will reflect purchasing collectors’ real-time modifications to the words displayed in the NFTs. While the NFT provides collectors with the right to change the text, all works downloaded by NFT purchasers as well as individuals who do not own the NFTs are equally authentic, the group said.

“Matter is Void” will be exhibited at the “Paris+ par Art Basel” in Paris from October 20 to 23. Prior to the sale, one of the seven works will be rewritten and shown on a giant billboard in Times Square in New York City from October 12.

Starting November 1, the project will be showcased at the TeamLab Planets TOKYO DMM art facility in Toyosu, Tokyo.